APPT Melbourne Final Table Player Profiles
The PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne produced a field of 260 players for the AU$5,000 Main Event. After three days of flops, check-raises and bad beats, our field has been reduced to a final table of nine. It's a fantastic line up, with a few rookies, a little experience and several talented young guns lurking in the wings.
Here's a little more background about our APPT Melbourne final table participants...
Seat 1: Eddie Mascardi (Brisbane, Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier), 335,000 in chips
Eddie Mascadri lives in Brisbane, Australia and has been playing poker for about four years. Mascadri is a hobby player with just one live result on his tournament resume - a 17th place finish at the 2010 APPT Auckland Main Event (NZ$7,200). The 42-year-old works as a courier in Brisbane and enjoys soccer and Aussie Rules football in his spare time. Mascadri is a regular at his local pub poker game and hopes to return home to Brisbane later this week with a $330,000 story to tell. He'll have his work cut out for him at the final table, however, starting the day as the short-stack with 335,000 in chips.
Seat 2: Van Marcus (Melbourne, Australia), 346,000 in chips
Van Marcus is a 28-year-old professional poker player from Melbourne, Australia. Perhaps the player at the final table with the most global notoriety, Marcus has been playing poker for 10 years. In 2008, Marcus won the PokerStars.net APPT Manila Main Event, collecting just over US$160,000 in prize money. Marcus has three WSOP final tables under his belt, and career tournament earnings of more than $1.2 million. Marcus considers himself an online pro and noted that Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond have influenced his approach to the game. The APPT Melbourne Main Event final table will be a family affair for Van, as his great uncle Steve Bouya will be sitting across the table in the six seat. When Van is not playing cards, he enjoys travelling, watching movies and partying. Marcus will begin the final table with the second-shortest stack with 346,000 chips.
Seat 3: Will Jones (Hobart, Australia), 730,000 in chips
Will Jones is a 22-year old professional poker player hailing from Hobart in Tasmania. Unlike many of the country's new generation poker players, Jones prefers to hone his skills in live cash games rather than on the virtual felt, and has spent much of his time successfully grinding high stakes cash games in both Las Vegas and Macau. While this will be Jones' largest tournament score, he was part of the Tasmanian team that were successful in the State of Origin event earlier in the week. Can he grab his second trophy within a week? A quiet persona disguises a highly talented, aggressive game, and with 730,000 in chips he'll be a genuine contender for the title.
Seat 4: Phillip Willcocks (Auckland, New Zealand), 2,317,000 in chips
28-year-old professional poker player Phillip Willcocks first rose to prominence in 2009 after finishing runner-up in the inaugural ANZPT Queensland Main Event for AU$112,000, but his first major result came about a year before at APPT Sydney Main Event. Since then, he's registered an eighth-place finish in the 2009 APPT Cebu Main Event and he's now in prime position to finally score that big win with 2,317,000 in chips. Naturally, the keen fisherman and foodie would love to get heads-up with fellow Kiwi Jackson Zheng.
Seat 5: Michael Frydman (Sydney, Australia), 741,000 in chips
Michael Frydman, a 56-year-old company director from Sydney, first took an interest in the game 40 years ago after watching his parents play with their friends on weekends. He's since turned that passion into six final table berths and over AU$60,000 in tournament cashes since 2001, including a third-place finish in the 2006 Victorian Poker Championships. Frydman's biggest influence to continue playing is winning, and he's got a good shot at this APPT Melbourne title, coming back fourth in chips with 741,000.
Seat 6: Steve Bouya (Melbourne, Australia), 910,000 in chips
Melbourne native Steve Bouya has been playing poker as a hobby for the past 10 years. Bouya is 51-years-young and has a little more than AU$60,000 in prize money to his name; the bulk of which he earned for a third place finish in a $1,000 buy-in side event at the 2009 Aussie Millions. Bouya credits nephew Van Marcus (also at the APPT Melbourne Main Event final table) for getting him started in poker and noted that he'd like to go heads up with Van over any other player at the table. Bouya enjoys fishing in his spare time. Should he finish fifth or higher, Bouya will have set a personal best for the most money won in a single tournament. Bouya enters the final table in third place with 910,000 chips.
Seat 7: Julius Colman (Melbourne, Australia), 513,000 in chips
64-year-old company director Julius Colman is no stranger to the big stage, having first burst onto the Australasian poker scene in 2007 when he finished in fourth place at the Aussie Millions Main Event for AU$500,000. Colman, an avid golfer and family man, has since amassed an impressive poker resume, cashing in two WSOP events and three APPT events, as well as final tabling the inaugural ANZPT event in Adelaide in 2009. He'll be starting this final table as the third-shortest stack with 513,000 in chips.
Seat 8: Leo Boxell (Melbourne, Australia), 1,170,000 in chips
One of Australia's all-time great players, Leo "The Mechanic" Boxell is one of the most popular players on the tour and a true gentleman of the game. With wife Bev always by his side for support, Boxell has a poker resume that is the envy of most. With results dating back to 1998 including five APPT/ANZPT cashes, one WSOP cash, multiple New Zealand and Australian/Aussie Millions championships, and over US$750,000 in career earnings, Boxell is ranked in the Australian top 20 for all-time tournament earnings. It's a matter of time before this legend of the game is recognized in the Australian Poker Hall of Fame, and an APPT title will simply confirm that honour. Boxell will enter the final table in second place with 1,170,000 in chips.
Seat 9: Jackson Zheng (Auckland, New Zealand) (PokerStars Qualifier), 640,000 in chips
Jackson Zheng is one of two New Zealanders at the APPT Melbourne Main Event final table. The 22-year-old is a professional poker with four years of experience under his belt. Zheng has amassed a little more than $170,000 in career live tournament earnings in his short time on the live circuit. Zheng made his first trip to Las Vegas last summer for the WSOP and cashed in a $1,500 no limit hold'em event. Most notably, Zheng won back-to-back titles at the New Zealand Poker Open from 2010-11. When he's not playing cards, Zheng enjoys computer games and snow sports. The Auckland native enters the final table sixth in chips with 640,000.